A Strong, Comprehensive Security Supplemental Invests In American Defense And American Jobs

A National Security Supplemental Supporting America’s Partners In Ukraine, Israel, And Asia Not Only Helps Those Countries, It Strengthens The United States Defense Industrial Base, Which Enhances American Security While Creating Jobs And Revitalizing Communities Across The Country

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Over and over again, history has taught us that the costs of disengaging from the world are far higher than the costs of engaging. And just as the threats we face aren’t isolated, neither are the benefits of investing in American leadership. Here’s the plain truth: The overwhelming majority of the resources approved by the Senate as security assistance for Ukraine has in fact gone directly to American manufacturers, supporting American jobs, expanding the American industrial base, and producing new weapons for America’s military.  Almost $70 billion dollars in investments, spread across at least 38 different states. Production of artillery rounds, alone, has distributed multiple billions into facilities from Arkansas to Virginia and Texas to Ohio. All to improve our ability to equip the United States and our allies for the growing challenges we face. Mr. President, these investments are not just replacing what’s being used to destroy Russia’s military strength. They’re expanding production capacity to meet soaring demand from allies – NATO countries have invested $90 billion in capabilities produced here in America since last February. And they’re helping equip U.S. forces for our own long-term competition with China. … Mr. President, the notion that this money is detracting from America’s other security priorities is completely false. Anyone making this claim doesn’t understand how critical production lines work.(Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/01/2023)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “Russia, Iran, and China do not share an ideology. But they do share interests. They see themselves in conflict with the West, and especially with America. Russia would love to see Iranian-backed terrorists in the Middle East weaken America and our allies. Iran would love to see a Russian victory against Ukraine that divides the West and deepens its own defense cooperation with Moscow. And China, for its part, would love to see America’s resolve – to stand with European and Israeli allies and re-establish actual deterrence against Russia and Iran – crumble. So at the risk of repeating myself: the threats facing America and our allies are serious, and they’re intertwined. If we ignore that fact, we do so at our own peril. The Biden Administration’s defense budget requests have systematically ignored these growing threats. The President’s supplemental request to address multiple crises that have unfolded on his watch is a recognition of this failure. So our colleagues on the Appropriations Committee now have a chance to provide critical resources that our military and defense industrial base need to keep pace with growing threats and support our partners.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/31/2023)

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE VICE CHAIR SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): “We must recognize that our national security interests are being aggressively challenged by all these authoritarian actors in an effort to dismantle the international order we established following World War II. Iran has been Russia’s accomplice in Ukraine through the export of weapons and drones that terrorize Ukrainian civilians. Just last week, Russia hosted Hamas and Iranian leadership where Hamas praised Russia’s criticism of Israel’s actions to defend itself following the recent terrorist attacks. China refuses to either condemn Russia’s second invasion of Ukraine or Hamas’s attacks despite both having committed war crimes targeting civilians and both having stolen children from their families. If we fail to thwart these efforts, there will be dire consequences that will jeopardize our national security.” (Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing, 10/31/2023)

  • SEN. COLLINS: “Finally, the supplemental request includes more than $30 billion to replenish our military’s weapons stockpiles and invest in and strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base in many states. The requested funding will refill the stockpiles and increase production capacity of key munitions in greatest demand. None of this funding goes overseas or to another country. It makes America stronger by modernizing our arsenal of democracy right here in our country and improving the readiness of the U.S. military to deter any adversary seeking to harm the United States.” (Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing, 10/31/2023)

SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER SEN. ROGER WICKER (R-MS): “Far from distracting us from China, stopping Putin in Ukraine is indispensable in deterring China. We dare not show weakness at this moment in Ukraine. Doing so would simply invite other dictators to act just like Vladimir Putin. The bottom line is that America’s interest in this war is clear: we need Ukraine to win, and that means giving them the tools to prevail. Cutting our support would cost us far more in the long run…. At the same time, we must continue our work to expand our own defense industrial capacity here at home. The American people have already invested billions of dollars to replenish the weapons we’ve transferred to Ukraine, particularly munitions. We are using that money here in America to expand production – doubling and even tripling production capacities for weapons like 155mm shells, Javelins, and HIMARs. And our work on that has just begun.” (Sen. Wicker, Remarks, 1/26/2023)

  • SEN. WICKER: “This has been a real wakeup call for our defense manufacturing base. This can be a victory for making the United States stronger, making our industrial base and the American workers who work there a lot more productive…it’s a win-win.” (Fox News’ “Fox Report,” 10/23/2023)

Money That Congress Has Allocated To Arm Ukraine’ Is ‘Going Primarily To Americans’

THE WASHINGTON POST’S MARC THIESSEN:Money that Congress has allocated to arm Ukraine is not being spent in Ukraine. It’s going primarily to Americans — either to replace weapons sent to Ukraine from U.S. stockpiles or to build the weapons we send to Kyiv. ‘When we’re talking about giving assistance to Ukraine … these [weapons systems] are produced by American or Allied and partner countries,’ explained Seth Jones, the director of the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘They are produced by General Dynamics, by Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, by Boeing in some cases. … And they’re being built in most cases in the United States.’” (Marc Thiessen, “This Is The ‘America First’ Case For Supporting Ukraine,” The Washington Post, 5/30/2023)

Defense Spending For Ukraine Has ‘Injected New Life, In The Form Of Government Contracts, Into Factories Across The Country’

“Since Russia’s invasion, Congress has approved approximately $43 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, alongside other investments in the defense industrial base. The funds have injected new life, in the form of government contracts, into factories across the country, including Abrams tank production lines in Lima, Ohio; Javelin missile factories in Ocala, Fla., and Troy, Ala.; and a plant that makes the propulsion motors for guided multiple-launch rockets in Rocket Center, W.Va.(“As Ukraine Aid Benefits Their Districts, Some House Republicans Oppose It,” The New York Times, 9/11/2023)

“The shipments of Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger surface-to-air missiles, along with howitzers and ammunition, to Ukraine have depleted American stockpiles, demonstrating a lack of US resilience. That wake-up call prompted the Pentagon — with congressional backing —to pour billions of dollars into expanding US industrial capacity.” (“US Artillery Shell Surge During Ukraine War Hinges On Army Bets,” Bloomberg News, 10/04/2023)

  • “The Army’s first step was to expand existing government-owned and contractor-operated facilities that make the metal casings in Pennsylvania, the facility at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Tennessee that manufactures the explosive fill for the shells and one at the Iowa Army Ammunition plant that loads the shells. Shifts increased at the facilities and new machines were added as well, Bush said.” (“US Artillery Shell Surge During Ukraine War Hinges On Army Bets,” Bloomberg News, 10/04/2023)

‘Money Marked For Ukraine Is Tied Up With America’s Ability To Defend Itself,’ ‘The U.S. Needs Deeper Reserves In Everything’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “… [C]ritics frequently complain that support for Ukraine is putting another country’s problems over our own. Yet now this crowd is stonewalling money to refill U.S. military cupboards, from bombs to air defenses, even though much of this will be an upgrade for American forces over Cold War equipment—such as new tactical vehicles to replace old Humvees.” (Editorial, “Republicans Against U.S. Weapons,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2023)

  • “The Ukraine skeptics fret that the U.S. is expending too much ammunition in Europe, a distraction from the larger threat from China. Yet that is an argument for forcing Mr. Biden to move faster to expand U.S. weapons production. The war in Ukraine has revealed that the U.S. needs deeper reserves in everything from artillery to long-range fires. And it is a strategic gift to learn this lesson before U.S. troops are dying in a war. Take 155mm artillery. The U.S. is producing 28,000 shells a month, a Pentagon under secretary said in September, up from about 14,000. By 2025? On track for 100,000 a month. The Biden ramp up has been too slow given Ukraine’s need for shells, but it’s far superior to the meager previous output that couldn’t sustain a protracted fight.” (Editorial, “Republicans Against U.S. Weapons,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2023)
  • In other words, money marked for Ukraine is tied up with America’s ability to defend itself, even if Mr. Biden has failed to explain this to the public. The more weapons America can produce, the more the world’s Xi Jinpings have to think long and hard about provoking the U.S. The now empty Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which lets the Pentagon procure new weapons from industry, is a down payment on a larger U.S. industrial base. Arms production isn’t an American jobs program or economic stimulus, a fallacy that Republicans should reject. But it is nonetheless puzzling to see conservatives who complain about ‘hollowed out’ U.S. manufacturing oppose money for producing missiles in Alabama or tanks in Ohio.” (Editorial, “Republicans Against U.S. Weapons,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2023)

Many Of The Key Weapons Systems And Munitions Going To Ukraine Are Manufactured In Communities Across The United States

ARKANSAS: HIMARS, GMLRS, Patriot Missiles, Javelin And Stinger Components

“Generals and other experts have recently recognized Lockheed Martin and other defense manufacturers in the Camden area for building weapons that have been key to Ukraine's successes in its war with Russia.” (“Defense Plant At Camden Growing; Lockheed To Add Missile Capacity,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/05/2022)

“Across the US, munitions factories are increasing production as fast as possible. A Lockheed Martin plant in Camden, Arkansas, is cranking out a series of rockets and missiles, including those used by the Army’s Patriot missile system – all of which are in high demand in Ukraine.” (“Ukraine Is Burning Through Ammunition Faster Than The US And NATO Can Produce It. Inside The Pentagon’s Plan To Close The Gap,” CNN, 2/17/2023)

  • “Lockheed Martin’s mobile rocket launcher plant in Camden, Arkansas is gearing up to boost production of the HIMARS system after its success on the battlefield in Ukraine drove up demand from other nations, executives said … The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is now a widely recognized weapon after mobile phone camera footage of the war in Ukraine showed the launchers in action…. Lockheed Martin makes HIMARS and refurbishes an older version in Camden, a small town southwest of Little Rock.” (“Lockheed’s HIMARS Plant Gearing Up To Meet Demand After Ukraine Success,” Reuters, 2/28/2023)

“[T]he Highland Industrial Park [near Camden, Arkansas] was bustling and its parking lot full as some of the nation’s largest defense contractors — Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne and General Dynamics — manufactured solid-rocket motors, missiles, launchers and other weapons systems that proved critical to the U.S. military and are now front and center in Ukraine.” (“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

  • “Camden has long depended on the defense industry. For example, since 1980 Lockheed Martin has locally built its M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System — a tracked rocket launcher that can carry a dozen rockets or missiles. A mural featuring the system covers the entire back of a building in downtown. Now the Lockheed facility is manufacturing the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System as quickly as it can. The HIMARS — which carriers fewer rockets and missiles than its predecessor, the M270, but is more nimble — is attracting worldwide attention for helping Ukraine fend off Russian invaders. And it has put Camden’s bustling defense industry in the spotlight.(“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the launcher made a ‘huge difference’ in liberating critical areas of the country under Russian occupation…. And Lockheed in recent months won nearly half a billion dollars in new contracts to build HIMARS and guided rockets for Ukraine. That’s a sizable number, considering Arkansas exported $1 billion of defense and aerospace goods in 2020.(“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

“The U.S. has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers that fire GMLRS and are made in Camden, Ark., a town of about 10,000 people that’s 100 miles south of Little Rock.” (“Biden Has A New Message About The War. There’s An America First Twist,” Politico, 10/21/2023)

“Lockheed Martin is expanding its missile production operations in south Arkansas to support increased production of PAC-3 missiles for the Patriot missile system…. This is the second major expansion at the Camden operations facility since Lockheed Martin announced an investment of $142 million at the Camden site in June 2019 … That capital investment was intended to support new construction and equipment, improve existing facilities and add 326 new jobs by 2024.” (“Defense Plant At Camden Growing; Lockheed To Add Missile Capacity,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/05/2022)

OHIO: Abrams Tanks

“The Pentagon announced [in March] it will speed up its delivery of M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, opting to send a refurbished older model that can be ready faster and reach Ukrainian troops fighting Russia’s invading force by this fall. That work will need to be done at the Lima plant, but there is no issue with capacity at the facility by adding the 31 additional tanks that need to be quickly prepared for delivery, and, moreover, the Army and other foreign customers will be able to stick to planned delivery schedules for Abrams already ordered, according to Camarillo.” (“Getting tanks to Ukraine won’t impact Abrams Lima line, Camarillo says”, Defense News, 3/28/2023)

  • “Thousands of miles from the front lines, a sprawling manufacturing plant in the small midwestern city of Lima, Ohio, is playing a critical role in the effort to arm Ukraine as it fends off the Russian invasion. Owned by the Army and operated by General Dynamics, the plant is expected to refurbish Abrams tanks for the U.S. to send to Ukraine, and is already preparing to build an updated version of the vehicle for Poland, U.S. Army officials said Thursday as they toured the facility. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, who walked through the plant with a number of other Army leaders and senior officers, said it’s highly likely the plant will provide the tanks for Ukraine.” (“Tank Plant In Small Ohio City Plays Big Role In Ukraine War,” The Associated Press, 2/17/2023)

ALABAMA: Javelin And Stinger Missiles

“A Huntsville defense company has received a $215.6 million contract from funding allocated to help Ukraine in its war against Russia. Aerojet Rocketdyne will accelerate production and delivery speed of weapons provided by the U.S. to Ukraine such as Javelin and Stinger missiles and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, according to an announcement last week by the U.S. Department of Defense. The defense department said the contract will ‘expand and modernize’ Aerojet Rocketdyne facilities in Huntsville, Camden, Ark., and Orange County, Va. – locations where the company ‘manufactures complex rocket propulsion systems.’” (“Huntsville Company Lands $215 Million Contract For Parts Used In Rockets Headed To Ukraine”, AL.com, 4/21/2023)


“The US Army is investing about $2 billion to expand and boost production of the munitions that have played a crucial role in the war in Ukraine. The service is expanding several ammunition plants, including the Army’s plants in Scranton, Pa., Holston, Tenn., Radford, Va., and Middletown, Iowa, as well as several commercial plants, spokeswoman Ellen Lovett said in an emailed statement.” (“US Puts $2 Billion Into Plants Making Ammo Vital to Ukraine,” Bloomberg Government, 1/25/2023)

  • “The production of artillery ammunition in the United States is a complicated process that primarily takes place in four government-owned facilities run by private defense contractors. The empty steel bodies are forged in factories in Pennsylvania run by General Dynamics, the explosives for those shells are mixed together by BAE Systems workers in Tennessee and then poured into the shells at a plant run by American Ordnance in rural Iowa, while the propellant charges to shoot them out of howitzer barrels are made by BAE in southwest Virginia. The fuzes screwed into the nose of these shells, which are required to make the projectiles explode, are produced by contractors in other locations.” (“Pentagon Will Increase Artillery Production Sixfold for Ukraine.” The New York Times, 1/24/2023)

“Reuters reported in September that the U.S. plans to ramp up its monthly production of the artillery shells to 100,000 in 2025. Production already has stepped up to 22,000 a month, about double what it was six to eight months ago.” (“The Artillery Shells Ukraine Is Firing At Russia? Many Are Made In Iowa; More On The Way,” Des Moines Register, 10/17/2023)

  • “The Pentagon is racing to boost its production of artillery shells by 500 percent within two years, pushing conventional ammunition production to levels not seen since the Korean War as it invests billions of dollars to make up for shortfalls caused by the war in Ukraine and to build up stockpiles for future conflicts. The effort, which will involve expanding factories and bringing in new producers, is part of ‘the most aggressive modernization effort in nearly 40 years’ for the U.S. defense industrial base, according to an Army report.” (“Pentagon Will Increase Artillery Production Sixfold for Ukraine.” The New York Times, 1/24/2023)

PENNSYLVANIA: “One of the most important munitions of the Ukraine war comes from a historic factory in this city built by coal barons, where tons of steel rods are brought in by train to be forged into the artillery shells Kyiv can’t get enough of — and that the U.S. can’t produce fast enough. The Scranton Army Ammunition Plant is at the vanguard of a multibillion-dollar Pentagon plan to modernize and accelerate its production of ammunition and equipment not only to support Ukraine, but to be ready for a potential conflict with China.” (“Long War In Ukraine Highlights Need For U.S. Army To Modernize Ammo Production,” The Associated Press, 4/23/2023)

“[T]he Scranton plant is undergoing a massive expansion, fueled by millions of dollars in new defense spending from the Pentagon. It’s investing in new high-tech machinery, hiring a few dozen additional workers and will eventually shift to a 24/7 schedule of constant production. ‘It’s certainly ramped up over the last year. As we bring in more modern equipment, it’ll be able to ramp up even further,’ said Todd Smith, senior director of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, which operates the plant for the Army. ‘Intensity has gone up,’ Smith added. ‘Let’s just put it that way.’” (“Ukraine Is Burning Through Ammunition Faster Than The US And NATO Can Produce It. Inside The Pentagon’s Plan To Close The Gap,” CNN, 2/17/2023)

IOWA: “A sprawling ammunition plant in southeast Iowa is slated for $1.2 billion in upgrades over the next two years as the continuing war in Ukraine has sharply increased demand for the 155 mm artillery shells manufactured there. The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, near Burlington, is one of the primary producers of the artillery shells that Ukraine is using in its fight against Russia’s invasion. Shells are also being manufactured at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant in Pennsylvania. Already the U.S. has shipped more than 1.5 million rounds to Ukraine, but Kyiv is seeking more.” (“The Artillery Shells Ukraine Is Firing At Russia? Many Are Made In Iowa; More On The Way,” Des Moines Register, 10/17/2023)

  • “The Middletown Ammunition plant announces a new estimated 1.5-billion-dollar expansion. While many thought the war in Ukraine might need additional support from the United States, few must have realized that a small town in Iowa would have such an impact…. [W]ith this large expansion, it is estimated that the plant will be able to produce around 85,000 shells each month. The United States has already provided Ukraine with over 1 million 155mm rounds. Of course, with expansion this means that more construction workers and manufacturing personnel with be in the area. It is currently estimated that this project will be completed in 2027.” (“Middletown Ammunition Plant Expansion,” KILJ News. 6/12/2023)

TEXAS: One of the contracts is for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Inc to build a new production line in Garland, Texas, for metal parts used in the 155mm ammunition, the Army said, without providing the contract value.” (“U.S. Army Awards Contracts To Raise Artillery Shell Production Capacity,” Reuters, 12/08/2022)

  • “Mesquite has approved plans for a new defense industry plant that will add more than 125 jobs. The city council voted unanimously to give General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Inc. the go-ahead to locate the weapons parts plant in a business park near Interstate 635. General Dynamics will occupy a 240,011-square-foot building in the Mesquite 635 business park at I-635 and U.S. Highway 80. The new manufacturing operation will produce artillery casings for the U.S. Department of Defense and will employ about 50 salaried employees and another 75 to 100 hourly workers…. The new plant comes as the Department of Defense is increasing munitions and weapons production to replace materials that were sent abroad to support the war in Ukraine.” (“Mesquite Approves New General Dynamics Plant To Make Artillery Casings,” The Dallas Morning News, 5/10/2023)

OHIO: Ohio’s IMT Defense Corp was awarded a separate contract worth $391 million to produce 155mm projectile shell bodies.” (“U.S. Army Awards Contracts To Raise Artillery Shell Production Capacity,” Reuters, 12/08/2022)

VIRGINIA: The war in Ukraine is creating … demand for defense industries in Virginia. New orders for defense capital goods are steadily increasing according to new numbers from the Census Bureau – an indication that the war in Ukraine is leading to booming business for Virginia’s military industrial complex. … Michael Farren at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center says the spike in new orders for defense capital goods over the summer is likely a spillover from Russia’s war in Ukraine. ‘One area that Virginia could be seeing the effect of this is at the Army Ammunition Manufacturing Plant near Radford, which specializes in propellant for shells and for missiles,’ Farren says. ‘And we’ve sent a lot of 155 millimeter artillery shells to Ukraine.’ As long as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags on, he says, the military contractors in Virginia and beyond will continue to see high demand for the weapons of war.(“New Data Shows Virginia’s Military Industrial Complex Is Booming,” WVTF, 10/05/2022)

ARIZONA: Patriot Missiles

“Arizona plays an important part in our national defense…. The weapons Raytheon makes in Tucson are so widely used around the world it should be no surprise they are used in Israel and Ukraine…. When [President] Biden talks about Patriot Missiles from Arizona, he’s talking about an anti aircraft system made here by Raytheon. Raytheon also works with Israel to build a different air defense system called Iron Dome.” (“Biden Cites Patriot Missiles Made In Arizona During Oval Office Speech,” KGUN9, 10/20/2023)

“The SDBII program is one of several Raytheon runs out of Tucson, the largest missile factory owned by the world's largest missile company. Programs like the SDBII add up to a significant contribution to the Arizona economy, with Raytheon estimated to have a $2.1 billion annual economic benefit to the state, according to a [2017] analysis from Arizona State University.” (“Tucson-Based Raytheon Missile Factory's Impact On Arizona Economy Estimated At $2.1 Billion Annually,” The Arizona Republic, 1/29/2017)

Expanding America’s Defense Industrial Base Benefits Our Allies And Partners Across The Globe Including Ukraine, Israel, And Taiwan

Army Secretary: ‘Additional Funding From Congress’ ‘Is Really Important’ For ‘Our Ability To Support Both Potentially The Israelis And The Ukrainians Simultaneously’

SECRETARY OF THE ARMY CHRISTINE WORMUTH: “One thing that is really important in terms of the munitions in particular, and our ability to support both potentially the Israelis and the Ukrainians simultaneously, is additional funding from Congress to be able to increase our capacity.” (“Army To Congress: Do Your Job So We Can Help Israel And Ukraine,” Politico, 10/09/2023)

Expanding Production Lines For 155mm Artillery Shells Used By Ukraine Also Helps To Provide Them To Israel And Taiwan

“While Ukraine is fighting a different type of war than Israel, there are weapons that both countries want from the U.S. Those include 155mm artillery shells, along with air-launched small diameter bombs, joint direct attack munitions and Hellfire missiles …” (Politico, 10/19/2023)

Israel has ordered tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells through a $60 million contract with Elbit Systems amid tension on the country’s northern border. The government and the company this week announced the deal for the M107-A3 projectiles for the Israel Defense Forces’ artillery corps…. Elbit Systems has made artillery and tank shells for decades.” (“Israel Orders Tens Of Thousands Of 155mm Artillery Shells From Elbit,” Defense News, 8/04/2023)

“The U.S. State Department has cleared the sale of self-propelled howitzers and GPS-guided kits for artillery shells to Taiwan, marking the first such approval for the country’s self-ruling by the Biden administration. The Defense Security and Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, announced the approval on Wednesday afternoon for Taiwan to acquire 40 M-109A6 Paladin 155mm self-propelled howitzers with associated equipment and support. The estimated cost of the potential sale is $750 million…. More significantly, the approved package for Taiwan also includes 1,698 precision guidance kits, which can be fitted on standard 155mm artillery shells to convert them into GPS-guided shells for precision artillery strikes against point targets.” (“US Government Clears $750 Million Artillery Sale To Taiwan,” Defense News, 8/06/2021)

Production Of HIMARS Systems Is Ramping Up For Ukraine, Allowing More To Be Built For Taiwan

“Lockheed Martin plans to increase production of its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, a weapon in high demand in Ukraine and across Europe as Russia continues to sow instability in the region. The company is poised to boost HIMARS production to 96 launchers annually … HIMARS sent to Ukraine by the U.S. since the summer [of 2022] have had an outsized effect on the battlefield, allowing Ukrainian forces to reach dozens of miles behind Russian front lines in the Donbas and around Kherson.” (“U.S. Industry Cranks Up HIMARS Production As Ukraine War Intensifies,” Politico, 10/18/2022)

“The Taiwanese government has announced the acquisition of 18 additional M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers to bolster its precision strike capabilities. The procurement is on top of the 11 launchers the island nation requested from the US in 2021, bringing the total to 29. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence … the HIMARS should help the self-governing island to strengthen its asymmetric combat capabilities.” (“Taiwan Buys 18 Additional HIMARS Rocket Launchers From US,” The Defense Post, 5/19/2023)

All These Investments In America’s Defense Industrial Base Are Helping To Revitalize Local Communities

Expansion At Weapons Manufacturing Plants Is Creating Jobs

“By early next year, this city best known for being the rodeo capital of Texas is on track to become a centerpiece of the American effort to increase artillery production vital to the war in Ukraine. A hulking new plant going up next to a highway exchange not far from downtown Mesquite promises to nearly double current U.S. output, replenishing stockpiles and preparing more ammunition to beat back the Russian invasion.(“As Ukraine Aid Benefits Their Districts, Some House Republicans Oppose It,” The New York Times, 9/11/2023)

“In downtown Camden, in south-central Arkansas, a large number of storefronts sit dark and empty, offering little insight into what once thrived there. On one block, only a florist and an artisanal soap shop were open on a recent Monday. ‘This building is not empty, it’s full of opportunity,’ a sign on another block’s storefront read. But 10 minutes away, the Highland Industrial Park was bustling and its parking lot full as some of the nation’s largest defense contractors — Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne and General Dynamics — manufactured solid-rocket motors, missiles, launchers and other weapons systems that proved critical to the U.S. military and are now front and center in Ukraine. (“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

  • “Local officials are hopeful expansion at Lockheed and dozens of other defense contractors in Camden’s Highland Industrial Park, driven by the demand for weapons for Ukraine, will lead to growth in their region. The state’s Chamber of Commerce anticipates Ouachita County, home to Camden, will see an influx of new employees — up to 1,000 total — at defense firms. In the meantime, state, local and industry officials are weighing how to best recruit and retain these employees.” (“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

Lockheed, which has about 1,000 employees in Camden, plans to hire about 200 new workers over the next several years to increase HIMARS production and that of other weapons sent to Ukraine like the GMLRS, according to Aaron Huckaby, the director of Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control business operations in Camden. Despite plans to bolster its workforce, Lockheed won’t need to add space to its 2.2 million-square-foot facility. The plant operates with one HIMARS shift from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Huckaby told Defense News, and will add a split shift, meaning another 10-hour shift with some overlap. Lockheed will hire technicians, assemblers and inspectors, as well as manufacturing, chemical and mechanical engineers, Huckaby said.” (“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

While Lockheed plans to grow by several hundred employees, defense contractors statewide are expected to add about 1,000 workers over the next several years. ‘The challenge right now is workforce issues,’ Randy Zook, the president of the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce, told Defense News. ‘We’re trying to help with that.’ … Aerojet Rocketdyne, which has been in Camden since 1979 and builds more than 75,000 solid-rocket motors a year for weapons like the Javelin, Stinger and Patriot missile, will grow its energetics capabilities in the town. The contractor recently announced the planned construction of a 51,000-square-foot facility in the industrial park. Its Camden workforce now totals more than 1,000 employees, according to Aerojet. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems’ Camden operations include an explosive load, assemble and pack facility working on Defense Department programs like the Hydra 70 2.75-inch rocket, Hellfire and Javelin warheads, and the modular artillery system supporting 155mm artillery. The company has 320 employees at the location, but is expanding to accommodate a new product line for explosive load, assemble and pack for M795 projectiles. GD plans to repurpose existing facilities and build an additional 15,000 square feet of space as well as hire 60-90 more workers.” (“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

As Defense Contractors Look To Hire More Workers, They Create More Career Opportunities And Partner With Education Institutions

“[Lockheed Martin] has a partnership with Southern Arkansas University and recruits students from the tech school, located across the street from Lockheed’s facility, for an apprenticeship program. Lockheed is also eyeing graduates of Louisiana Tech University and forging a new relationship with the University of Arkansas.” (“How The War In Ukraine Is Driving Growth In Arkansas,” Defense News, 3/21/2023)

“‘You do see small businesses benefit when these larger businesses come to the community,’ said Kim Buttram, the director of economic development for the City of Mesquite. Advanced manufacturing companies like General Dynamics, she added, also ‘offer our citizens, our students, our folks, opportunities to up-skill and better their career opportunities close to home.’” (“As Ukraine Aid Benefits Their Districts, Some House Republicans Oppose It,” The New York Times, 9/11/2023)

Local Leaders Can’t Believe Some Representatives Would Oppose Defense Programs That Generate So Many Benefits For Their Constituents

“Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman, who represents Camden, said critics of government spending can be surprised to know some of that spending is going back to communities like his. ‘I actually had some constituents text me last night and say $100 billion is a lot of money to give away, and I made the point that a lot of that equipment is made in my district,’ Westerman said.” (“Biden Has A New Message About The War. There’s An America First Twist,” Politico, 10/21/2023)

“The situation has dismayed some local business leaders in Mesquite, who — while taking pains not to criticize any politicians by name — say the opposition of some lawmakers to the funding measure is a slap in their constituents’ faces.” (“As Ukraine Aid Benefits Their Districts, Some House Republicans Oppose It,” The New York Times, 9/11/2023)

  • “‘I would love for them to talk about, ‘Hey, this will create manufacturing jobs in the U.S., this will create advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S.,’ Alexander Helgar, the president of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce, said in an interview in his office. Lawmakers who oppose continued aid to Kyiv are effectively ‘voting against your constituents, at that point,’ he said. ‘You’re literally saying no to the people you’re representing.’(“As Ukraine Aid Benefits Their Districts, Some House Republicans Oppose It,” The New York Times, 9/11/2023)


Related Issues: Israel, America's Military, National Security, Russia, Appropriations, Ukraine, China